Bob Howry 'will be in a Cubs uniform very soon'

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According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune “indications are that Bob Howry will be in a Cubs uniform very soon” after being released earlier this week by the Diamondbacks.
Howry pitched for Lou Piniella and the Cubs from 2006-2008, going 17-17 with 14 saves and a 3.90 ERA in 228.2 innings before signing with the Giants. “If it happens, it will give us some experience in the bullpen from the right side,” Piniella said. “When he was with us, he was a rock in the clubhouse and great with the young pitchers.”
He was very solid during his one season in San Francisco, posting a 3.39 ERA in 63.2 innings, but coughed up 17 runs in 14.2 innings with Arizona being getting cut and turns 37 years old in a couple months. His average fastball velocity clocked in at 89.8 miles per hour compared to 92.4 mph last season and 91.8 mph for his career, so Howry may not much anything left in the tank to help the Cubs.

Noah Syndergaard: ‘I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency’

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Yankees starter Luis Severino and Phillies starter Aaron Nola both signed contract extensions within the last week. Severino agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with a 2023 club option. Nola inked a four-year, $45 million deal with a 2023 club option.

While the deals both represented significant raises and longer-term financial security for the right-handed duo, some feel like the players are selling themselves short. It has become a more common practice for players to agree to these types of deals in part due to how stagnant free agency has become. Get the money while you can.

Mets starter Noah Syndergaard is in a similar situation as Severino and Nola were. He and the Mets avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $6 million salary for the 2019 season. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility left. A contract extension with the Mets would presumably cover both of those years plus two or three years of what would be free agent years. As Tim Britton of The Athletic reports, however, Syndergaard plans to test free agency when the time comes.

Syndergaard said, “I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did. But if it’s fair for both sides and they approach me on it, then maybe we can talk.” He clarified that he would be open to a conversation about an extension, but the Mets thus far haven’t approached him about it. In his words, “There’s been no traction.”

Syndergaard, 26, has been one of baseball’s better starters since debuting in 2015. He owns a career 2.93 ERA with 573 strikeouts and 116 walks in 518 1/3 innings. Among pitchers to have logged at least 400 innings since 2015 and post a lower ERA are Clayton Kershaw (2.22), Jacob deGrom (2.66) and Max Scherzer (2.71). Syndergaard made only seven starts in 2017 yet still ranks seventh among pitchers in total strikeouts since 2015.

If Sydergaard doesn’t end up signing an extension, he will be entering free agency after the 2021 season. The collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021 and a new one will likely be agreed upon around that time. Syndergaard will hopefully have better prospects entering free agency then than players do now.